The Daily Mail reported that 'Ronaldo’s mega-bucks contract is a result of the Real Madrid forward’s ongoing commercial pulling power and means he also continues to collect more from sponsorship deals than his great rival Lionel Messi does, who is said to earn £13.6m a year from Adidas.'
According to research by German analyst Dr. Peter Rohlmann, Brazil's poster boy Neymar Jr. is the next biggest earner at the tournament, pulling in an estimated £9.5m a year from Nike.
Despite England’s woeful tournament, three England players make the top 10 list, with Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all commanding in the region of £3m a year from their sponsors.
Disgraced Uruguay striker Luis Suarez also rakes in £3m a year, from his deal with adidas,and despite being caught biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D clash on Tuesday the German sports brand have said they will stick by him.
This despite a four month World wide ban from the game.
On the compiled list Rohlmann said: ‘The top footballers have learned that their face and their reputation can be marketed very well for advertising of products and companies. As the most popular sport in the world, football is in focus before and during major tournaments like the World Cup.’
The research also estimated that kit manufacturers have spent an estimated total of £100m on boot deals with the players on show at the World Cup.
Top 10 highest sponsorship deals for players at the World Cup
1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal and Real Madrid) Nike - £14.1m
2) Lionel Messi (Argentina and Barcelona) Adidas - £13.6m
3) Neymar Jr. (Brazil and Barcelona) Nike - £9.5m
4) Thomas Muller (Germany and Bayern Munich) Adidas - £3m
5) Mesut Ozil (Germany and Arsenal) Adidas - £3m
6) Wayne Rooney (England and Manchester Utd) Nike - £3m
7) Sergio Aguero (Argentina and Manchester City) Puma - £3m
8) Steven Gerrard (England and Liverpool) Adidas - £3m
9) Frank Lampard (England and Chelsea) Adidas - £3m
10) Luis Suarez (Uruguay and Liverpool) Adidas - £3m
*Source: Dr Peter Rohlmann